Every Fourth of July, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture
is heard all over the United States, timed to the burst of fireworks. How did this Russian composition, celebrating the Russian victory over the French in that War of 1812
(not the war between England and the US
), become a staple of the United States' Independence Day celebrations? We can thank the Boston Pops. [more inside]
Starships were meant to fly
To get you ready for Independence Day, National Geographic has provided some useful tips for photographing fireworks
, complete with a pretty gallery.
Last night at the Big Bay Boom Firework Show in San Diego, a technical glitch caused 18 minutes of choreographed fireworks to go off in about 15 seconds
(and 5 minutes premature). The results were impressive
. [more inside]
“If ever men should celebrate the day with the rapt ardor of devotees, it is the soldiers of the Union,” bent on “saving the Union of the revolutionary fathers from destruction.”
The residents of Fredericksburg VA didn't celebrate Independence Day in 1862. It was no longer their Independence Day. However, just across the river, within both sight and sound of the residents of Fredericksburg, the Union Army threw a raucous celebration, complete with fireworks, artillery salutes, mule races, a greased pole, and a greased pig.
The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most masterfully written state paper of Western civilization. As Moses Coit Tyler noted almost a century ago, no assessment of it can be complete without taking into account its extraordinary merits as a work of political prose style. Although many scholars have recognized those merits, there are surprisingly few sustained studies of the stylistic artistry of the Declaration. This essay seeks to illuminate that artistry by probing the discourse microscopically -- at the level of the sentence, phrase, word, and syllable.
The University of Wisconsin's Dr. Stephen E. Lucas meticulously analyzes the elegant language of the 235-year-old charter in a distillation of this comprehensive study
. More on the Declaration: full transcript
and ultra-high-resolution scan
, a transcript and scan of Jefferson's annotated rough draft
, the little-known royal rebuttal
, a thorough history of the parchment itself
, a peek at the archival process
, a reading of the document by the people of NPR
and by a group of prominent actors
, H. L. Mencken's "American" translation
, Slate's Twitter summaries
, and a look at the fates of the 56 signers
In honor of the Fourth, I give you the 50 States and their Capitals
, the U.S. Presidents,
and in hopes for a better future, what the hell, all the Nations of the World
. [more inside]
Pepsi-Cola's first woman CEO
is anointed on the eve of her country of birth's Independence Day. As the US warns India not to ban Pepsi-Cola
implying it may impede future economic progress, and India celebrates Independence from the British under heightened security alerts
, one wonders how Indra Nooyi
will navigate this press relations nightmare
Look, just take some time and read the Declaration of Independence
and The Bill of Rights
at the very least. Got sometime? Try the Articles of Confederation
. Or the Constitution
. Still with us? Then go hog wild
July 1942: United We Stand
"Seven months after the United States entered World War II, magazines nationwide featured the American flag on their covers. Adopting the slogan United We Stand, some five hundred publications waved the stars and stripes to promote national unity, rally support for the war, and celebrate Independence Day."
Independence Days Worldwide.
Happy Independence Week, Bahamas
! or What else happens in July
? There's a lot of independence holidays, as there was a fair bit of colonialism to get out from under during the 19th/20th centuries. And most countries in general have important victories and events to celebrate... many of us are familiar with Bastille Day and Cinco de Mayo
, for example. The dates aren't so much important as the realization of the stories and struggles that have gone on and still go on around the world, but the dates are a place to start.
Happy Independence Day USA!
Celebrate it by asserting your independence. Regardless of any of our multifarious differences, Americans live in a country where it is legal to disagree and dissent
. In fact, by simple dint of being Americans we each by default, protect each other's rights to disagree. For without free dialogue we cease to be American at all. So without further ado. Let's celebrate our freedom!
"Terrorists plan July 4th attack in US" - claim
There are claims that terrorists linked to the al-Qaeda network are planning an attack on a US nuclear power plant to coincide with Independence Day celebrations.
America @ 225.
We're still working out all the kinks, but the "Gang of 50" keeps on chugging along. The Fourth of July
for me is the day where we can extol the virtues of nationalism unabashedly...
To those who say our Founding
Fathers Couldn't get down with their bad selves
Peep Washington, Jefferson and da rest of da boyz in an Independence
. Click on each founding father to let them throw down some phat lyrics too. (Flash required, yo!)